Hill Holder Did Just That

This 1963 Studebaker Avanti was part of a car show we attended last summer:

It was a gorgeous car with original paint, and it had this sticker in its window:

“Hill Holder” was a solution to the problem of stopping on an incline in a car with a manual transmission.  One Studebaker dealer described the “nerve-tingling experience of being obliged to come to a full stop on a sharp upgrade . . . the necessity for more or less simultaneous manipulation of emergency brake, foot brake, accelerator, clutch pedal and gear shift lever when restarting the car.”  Hill Holder did just that; it held the car stationary when stopped on a hill.  It engaged automatically by depressing the clutch pedal while the brakes were on.  A valve held the brake pressure until the clutch was released, leaving the driver’s right foot free to step on the gas.

The mechanism was introduced by Studebaker in 1936:

Hill Holder and Avanti . . . two more examples of Studebaker being ahead of its time.


Studebaker. Advertisement. Arizona Republic, 12 May 1936, p. 1.

Studebaker. Advertisement. St. Joseph Gazette, 19 Dec. 1935, p. 3.

“Demonstrate Hill Holding Studebakers.” The Capital Journal [Salem, Oregon] , 8 February 1936, p. 5.

“Studebaker Offers ‘Hill Holder’ As Exclusive Feature.” The Coos Bay Times, 13 March 1936, p. 5.

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